Much has been written about the importance of good management to an organization’s success; in fact, the field of organizational behavior has created a substantial and respected science around this and other aspects of building successful organizations.
However, I’ve found that, with only a few characteristics, I can quickly identify the best managers in any company; it is these same characteristics I try to instill in my own management team on whom I depend to develop and operate the business.
1. The best employees are in their organization.
Without fail, this is one of the best markers for a good manager: they hire and/or grow the very best employees. If you were to stack rank the top 20% of individual contributors within a company, I can assure you, it’s the managers who have the most of them who are your best leaders.
2. They’re loved by most, but disliked by some.
The best managers are respected and loved both by their employees and by many of their colleagues; however, the best managers are also change agents and, as such, tend to create a healthy tension throughout the company forcing other departments to step up and perform. In many cases, the tension will occur with less effective managers who are unwilling or incapable of accepting innovation and change.
3. They consult their leaders and colleagues, then act decisively.
The best managers are not know-it-alls and, for that reason, do not act unilaterally without first consulting their trusted advisers including their peers and leaders within their own team. Once they have a direction however, no excuse will get in their way as they act decisively to ensure full implementation and success. We all know who they are: the people within a company who make things happen; they’re the people you always want to have on your team when you’re faced with implementing an initiative.
A company is, after all, nothing more than the sum of its parts: its employees, its customers, its partners, and its products & services. However, it all starts with great employees who are hired and developed by great managers.